Showing posts with label Junot Díaz. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Junot Díaz. Show all posts

Friday, February 06, 2015

#FridayReads: God Loves Haiti by Dimitry Elias Léger

A luminous debut . . . Léger writes beautifully and with an immense humanity. Perhaps one of the finest Caribbean novels I’ve read in years and it is a testament to Léger’s extraordinary talents that in this incisive chronicle of failing lovers he never loses sight of his true subject—Haiti—which he renders in all of its stupendous beautiful tortured complexity. A stand-out novel.”—Junot Diaz

A native of Haiti, Dimitry Elias Léger makes his remarkable debut with this story of romance, politics, and religion that traces the fates of three lovers in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and the challenges they face readjusting to life after an earthquake devastates their city. 

Reflecting the chaos of disaster and its aftermath, God Loves Haiti switches between time periods and locations, yet always moves closer to solving the driving mystery at its center: Will the artist Natasha Robert reunite with her one true love, the injured Alain Destiné, and live happily ever after? Warm and constantly surprising, told in the incandescent style of José Saramago and Roberto Bolaño, and reminiscent of Gabriel García Márquez’s hauntingly beautiful Love In The Time of Cholera, God Loves Haiti is an homage to a lost time and city, and the people who embody it.



Dimitry Elias Léger was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti and raised there and in Brooklyn. Educated at St. John’s University and Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, he has worked as an advisor to United Nations agencies. He has also been a staff writer at Fortune, the Miami Herald, and The Source Magazine, and his work has appeared in the New York Times, Rolling Stone, and Newsweek, and other publications. He lives in Brooklyn and near Evian, France.

Friday, May 09, 2014

The Latino Lit Syllabus - Required Reading

I minored in English Literature and some of my favorite books have been a result of required reading especially from my Multicultural Literature courses. I don't think I would have discovered Maxine Hong, Jean Toomer, or Lois-Ann Yamanaka otherwise.

Taking a cue from the recent airing of Junot Diaz' MIT Course Syllabus, I've decided to share some other notable required reading lists that you might find interesting:

Introduction to U.S. Latino/a Literature - Florida Atlantic University
José Martí. “Coney Island.” (1881)
María Amparo Ruíz de Burton. From The Squatter and the Don. (1885)
Jesús Colón. Excerpts from A Puerto Rican in New York and Other Sketches. (1961)
Piri Thomas. Down These Mean Streets. (1967)
Oscar Zeta Acosta. Revolt of the Cockroach People. (1973)
Selections of Nuyorican Poets. (1960s-1970s)
Sandra Cisneros. The House on Mango Street. (1984)
Gloria Anzaldúa. Borderlands/La Frontera. (1987)
Cristina Garcia. Dreaming in Cuban (1992)
Ana Menéndez. Loving Che. (2003)
Junot Diaz. Drown. (1996)
Yxta Maya Murray. Locas. (1998)
Tanya Maria Barrientos. Family Resemblance. (2003)
Ernesto Quiñonez. Bodega Dreams. (2000)
Ilan Stavans. The Hispanic Condition. (1996)
Juan Flores. From Bomba to Hip-Hop. (2000)
Lisa Sánchez González. Boricua Literature. (2001)
Gustavo Pérez Firmat. Life on the Hyphen. (1994)
Román de la Campa. Cuba on my Mind. (2000)
Raphael Dalleo and Elena Machado Sáez. The Latino/a Canon and the Emergence of Post-Sixties Literature. (2007)

University of California, Santa Cruz:
Manuel Muñoz, The Faith Healer of Olive Avenue
Helena Maria Viramontes, Under the Feet of Jesus
H.G. Carrillo, Loosing My Espanish
Jaime Hernández, The Education of Hopey Glass
Héctor Tobar, The Tattooed Soldier

University of Nebraska Omaha:
The Squatter and the Don (1885) by Maria Amparo Ruiz de Burton
George Washington Gomez (Paredes wrote this novel in the 1940s and 1950s but it wasn’t published until 1990)by Américo Paredes
And the Earth Did Not Devour Him (1987) by Tomás Rivera
Borderlands/La Frontera (1987) by Gloria Anzaldúa
The Rain God (1991) by Arturo Islas
So Far From God (1993) by Ana Castillo
Days of Awe (2001) by Achy Obejas
Acuña, Rudolfo: Occupied America: A History of Chicanos
Aranda Jr., Jose: When We Arrive: A New Literary History of Mexican America Extinct Lands,
Brady, Mary Pat: Temporal Geographies: Chicana Literature and the Urgency of Space
Paredes, Américo: Folklore and Culture on the Texas Mexican Border
Paz, Octavio: The Labyrinth of Solitude
Saldívar, Ramón: Chicano Narrative: The Dialectics of Difference
Torres, Eden: Chicana Without Apology

Introduction to Latino/a Studies:
Michelle Habell-Pallan and Mary Romero Latino/a Popular Culture (ed.)
Julia Alvarez, In the Name of Salomé
Rudolfo Anaya, Bless Me, Ultima
Gloria Anzaldúa, Borderlands/La Frontera
Black Artemis, Picture Me Rollin’
Angie Cruz, Soledad
Junot Díaz, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
Cristina Garcia, Dreaming in Cuban
Ana Menéndez, Loving Che
Ernesto Quiñonez, Bodega Dreams
Piri Thomas, Down These Mean Streets
Esmeralda Santiago, When I was Puerto Rican
Helena Maria Viramontes, Their Dogs Came With Them

There are many of these online and I only posted some of the ones that didn't contain too many of the usual notables. Next time you are looking for some great titles to read and discover this might be a new avenue for direction.


Monday, September 23, 2013

Q&A with Chloe Aridjis, Author of ASUNDER

ASUNDER is a captivating novel, out now from Mariner Books, a division of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, about two museum guards in London for whom life and art begin to overtake one another in unsettling and surreal ways.

It's written by Chloe Aridjis, a writer who's been praised by Junot Díaz, for her "hypnotic" prose. Chloe was born in New York and grew up in the Netherlands and Mexico, and now lives in London. She received her PhD in nineteenth-century French poetry and magic shows from Oxford, then lived in Berlin for five years. Her first novel, Book of Clouds, won the Prix du Premier Roman Etranger in 2009.

I had a chance to interview Chloe recently. Here's what she had to say:

On Home & Identity:

Chloe: England is very much home these days. Mexico is my other home of course, and I hope I'll never have to choose between the two. I still spend around two months a year in Mexico. For daily life, I prefer London to Mexico City, however -- as much as I love the latter, the soul-destroying traffic alone does me in each time I visit. I identify with each place in different ways: here, I love the tempo of the city, the weather, and the discretion. Mexico meanwhile has a tremendous dynamism and chaos that's unique and I always feel recharged. 

On the "Latina Writer" Label: 

Chloe: I don't take issue but have never identified with it myself. My mother is from New York but I definitely feel more Mexican/European since I've spent many more years in Europe than in the US and I suppose both my studies and movements have been more eurocentric. In general I believe identity should be fluid, and labels can be tricky. 

On her Dad:

Chloe: My father has always been an immense inspiration, as a writer and a human being. My mother's environmental work and her intelligence and humanity are also deeply inspiring. Together they introduced me, from an early age, to literature and museums: both changed my life. I learned to read and see in new ways. As for the poets in the novel, they are based on childhood observation, mostly from poetry festivals I was taken to, and later on my correspondence with some of the poets I met.  

On Writing:

Chloe: I write both from home and the British Library. It depends what stage I'm at, but I try to write from home in the morning and then head to the library by two or three. Different thoughts occur in different places, so it's important to move around and see what happens where. I often get ideas on the bus over to the library. But there's nothing quite like being here in my study, surrounded by my own books and objects and my young cat watching from the shelf behind me. 


ASUNDER traces the slow revolt against passivity of a female museum guard. After nine years working at London’s National Gallery, Marie starts to feel stirrings of violence as she focuses more and more on themes of decomposition in both the paint layer and the human. She is haunted by stories of the suffragettes who would attack works of art in the years leading up to WWI, and in particular by the slashing of Velázquez’s Rokeby Venus, which occurred at the Gallery in March 1914. 
Her best friend Daniel is a poet who works as a guard at the Tate Britain; their lives revolve closely around their collections, public and private (Marie crafts miniature landscapes at home, Daniel corresponds with poets overseas). When they go to Paris for the winter holiday their imaginary worlds come to life in startling ways, ultimately freeing them from their former confinement.

Reminiscent of Ben Lerner’s Leaving the Atocha Station, ASUNDER is a short, powerful novel brimming with ideas and stop-you-in-your-tracks language, exploring materiality vs. spirituality, art vs. life, words vs. images, preservation vs. destruction, and those moments we all experience where we can either push something to crisis or take great pains to stop it in its tracks.


Read it and let me know what you think of it.

Friday, December 07, 2012

Lit Links & Scoops

Between moving, the holidays and getting a promotion at work things have been a bit hectic so please forgive my absence and enjoy some links to the most interesting news I've seen all recently.

Triple spiral, celtic triskele is sometimes called the spiral of life.
It was found in Newgrange site in Bronze age (or older) Ireland.
 It remained in Celtic art for 3,000 years.
Celts believed all life moved in eternal cycles,
regenerating at each point.
 All important things came in three phases:
birth, death and rebirth. Mind, body & spirit.
Slate curated a list of The Overlooked Books of 2012, which mentions both, I Am an Executioner by Rajesh Parameswaran and Monstress by Lysley Tenorio that are worth a look.

Readers interested in Machismo and Mexico might take a look at ALMOST NEVER. By Daniel Sada featured in the NY Times 100 Notable Books of 2012 list. You can find more good reads with “Best of” lists created by NPR,Publishers WeeklyEsquireHuffPo and The Guardian

Deadspin made me laugh with their The Hater’s Guide To The Williams-Sonoma Catalog.

Women, social roles, and the intellectual situation. Whoosh!

Publishing's lack of Latino Literature put on blast here. But perhaps it's just a matter of awareness and accessibility  Blogger Mary Ann Reilly has curated an awe inspiring list of Latino/a Books for Elementary Children, see part 1, part 2, part 3. Nicely done, folks!

I am super excited about the Future of Consumer Intelligence conference I am working, not only do I get to head back to San Francisco but I get to hangout with some of the brightest minds who are shaping the high-technology revolution as it intersects with marketing and business opportunities for the future.

Speaking of mind melds, Scientists Discover Children’s Cells Living in Mothers’ Brain.

Mother Jones shines a light on sexism within the video game industry.

This etymology of the C-word makes me reconsider my hatred of it.

The perfect books to gift for the Holidays: Gran Cocina Latina: The Food of Latin America by Maricel E. Presilla and This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Díaz.

I love that Maria Popova, the mastermind of the Brain Pickings blog, was featured in the Times.

The OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature for 2013 is now open for submissions.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Global Libraries Initiative is asking some well-crafted questions of this kind in a survey I’d urge you to fill out.

A new initiative is focusing on libraries around the world as centers of social and economic change.



Friday, August 24, 2012

Lit Links & Scoops

.. and then there was a delightful surprise!
..(Photo: honor the gift)
- A list of 10 highly anticipated movies this season are based on books, from classics like 'Anna Karenina' to the final 'Twilight' installment via USA Today

- What is the future of storytelling? Immersion, interactivity, integration and impact via The Next Web

 - I'm so honored to be have made this list of the Global Top 100 Social Media Agencies & Consultants 2012-13 via SparkAh

- Know your audience: Millennials Buy More Books Than Everybody Else via Good.is

- 20 Social Media Touch Points You May Be Missing via Snapshot Social Media

- 2012 List of the the most sought after out-of-print books in America via Bookfinder

- Take it to the outside: The 6 Best Street Art Sites for Creative Inspiration via My Life Scoop

 - Why P&G Should Win an Olympic Gold Medal for Marketing - The three things that P&G did that made their ads standout.

- Junot Díaz’ on a few things he’d like to tell his swaggering teenage self via NY Mag

- 50 Best Books: Fall 2012's Must-Reads via HuffPo

Friday Five: How To...

How To Sell Books With Social Media via The Creative Penn

How To Read a Book a Week via Julien Smith

How to write a bad review via Salon

How to Deal with a Vicious Review of Your Book via The Awl

How To Talk About Books You Haven’t Read via BrainPickings

Trailer for a animated film based on the Selkies, mythical women who can take on the form of seals, were at one point pretty much my entire conception of “Ireland,” probably a weird thing for a kid with 50% Irish-born great-grand parents. The selkie story generally begins when a fisherman falls in love with one and steals the magical seal skin that allows her to change shape, and then marries her. It generally ends when she finds where he’s hidden the seal skin and escapes back to the sea, leaving him to raise their children alone.


Song Of The Sea - Conceptual Trailer from Cartoon Saloon on Vimeo.

Friday, August 03, 2012

Lit Links & Scoops

- The Plantation in Puerto Rican Popular Music


The Biggest One-Man Run Online Book Club Leader Never Reads the Books

- Boston Review’s Paula M.L. Moya did a two part interview with Junot Díaz here.

- How to brew your own hibiscus sun tea. recipe here. Cooling, and packed with antioxidants. I add: 1 tablespoon of rose hips, 1 tablespoon of elderberries, 1 tablespoon strips of orange zest too.


- They fell in love at Borders. via Salon


- 10 Latino Olympians to follow on Twitter via NBC Latino


- A smart and candid rant about confused anger, girl crushes and Sheila Heti's acclaimed novel on friendship. via Salon


- There is still time to participate in the 3rd annual Latina Week of Action for Reproductive Justice - Soy Poderosa blog carnival. Sign up here.


- Dazzling: 37 Home Library Design Ideas With a Jay-Dropping Visual and Cultural Effect (here), 

The 20 Most Beautiful Bookstores in the World (here) and Bringing Maker-Style Garage Tinkering Into the Local Library (here)


The Intercultural Self or, Race, Culture and This White Chick; Part One

- Cool KickStarter Project: A Crowdfunded Farm Brings Traditional Mexican Flavors to New York via Good.is


- Speaking of Food: Latin Eats: NYC Restaurant Week List

-  The trailer for this book includes a girl in blackface - enough said. Read the article at xoJane.


- More yum: 11 Delicious Latin food blogs you need to follow

- Some Brief Thoughts on Media Violence and Critical Literacy via PETER GUTIERREZ.


- Ten Reasons Parents Should Read Multicultural Books to Kids via Incultureparent

- How to Survive in a Interracial Relationship When You Don’t Have the Support of Your Family & Friends via Chantilly Patiño.


Coming Soon:


Now on Sundance:

 
 
Web Analytics